Austin's Top Attractions

With a city that prides itself on its motto to "Keep Austin Weird," it's easy to fall in love with its quirky charms

Go explore the hippest town in Texas, where there's no shortage of local lore, entertainment and other homegrown attractions to discover. Grab your family or friends, experience Austin's individuality and make, “weird,” memories with your loved ones. In the "Live Music Capital of the World," you can guess where the tour begins.


1. Austin Music Scene 101


With 250 places to hear live music, where do you start? Go down the rabbit hole with Austin Heritage Music Tours for an introduction to a music scene that doesn't come in a book. Richard Roberts—musician, Emmy Award-winning producer and longtime Austinite—leads you through a maze of pubs, poster art and photographs, while entertaining you with his local knowledge. Drop in on the '70s, when Austin's music scene first erupted, thanks to famed singer Willie Nelson and other emerging bands. Witness the rebirth of the blues, led by the late Stevie Ray Vaughn, and explore layers of Austin's star-studded musical history up until the present. Then ask Richard to point you toward venues with genres you love, since Austin's got them all.

2. Sip, Ride and Socialize


All together now! Pedal on the Pub Crawler while the suds slosh and the wine miraculously doesn't spill. A cross between open-air trolley, bar and bicycle built for 15, the Pub Crawler makes you work for your drinks. Choose from tours like the Longhorns Tailgater or the popular Market District that lets you belly up to some of the best bars on iconic Sixth Street. Pedal, drink and be merry with your 21-and-over friends and family, or reserve a single seat and share the fun with new faces on the Social Suds tour. Bring your own beer or wine, or connect your pony keg to the Crawler's tap for some exercise and fun all in one. The driver doesn't pedal but keeps an eye on things, so enjoy a journey you can drink to!

3. State Capitol Architecture


Like the rest of Texas, the Capitol Building is big with a capital B. With over 360,000 square feet of flooring and a towering dome that stands at 302.64 feet, it's even taller than the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Peek inside the Italian Renaissance Revival building to experience its full splendor. Stand under the building's huge "sunset red" granite dome, and let your eyes follow the spiraling staircase as it winds upward more than 200 feet to the top. Want to keep a conversation private? It's probably best not to stand too close to the whispering gallery in the rotunda that amplifies any and all secrets. Don't forget to peek in on legislative process in session before strolling the surrounding grounds around the building.

4. Congress Avenue Bridge Bat Tours


Gotham is not the only city with native bat inhabitants. Austin is home to largest urban bat colony in the world. Gaze underneath the South Congress Avenue Bridge to see over 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats lurking below. From March through November, as twilight draws near, board a bat-watching cruise to catch the sight of a cloud of bats emerging from under the bridge. The one-hour cruise also gives you a great view of all the new development downtown and the famous Stevie Ray Vaughn statue.

5. Zilker Park — Botanicals to Boats


Lose yourself in Austin's most beloved green space, 350-acre Zilker Metropolitan Park, and we dare you not to fall in love with it too. Walk, jog, hike or bike with family and friends lakeside on the 10-mile, lushly bordered path. Traveling to Austin in the summer? Rent boats and paddleboards at the lake. Or swim laps like a local in the naturally heated—but still chilly at 70 degrees—Barton Springs. Explore themed gardens where flowers take turns blooming year-round and relax in one of the meditation gardens. Stir imaginations in Dinosaur Garden where a life-size Ornithomimus statue looms over the prehistoric dragonfly pond and a partially hidden alligator and other prehistoric statues lie in wait. After dark, be mesmerized by Austin's city lights dancing on Lady Bird Lake.


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